The California bullet train is cancelled. Mostly. During his first State of the State speech, Governor Gavin Newsom said Governor Jerry Brown’s dream of delivering high speed rail service between Los Angeles and San Francisco would cost too much and take too long to complete. But Gavin said he’s willing to settle for a piece of the project.
“We do have the capacity to complete a high speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield. I know some critics are going to say that’s a train to nowhere. But I think that’s wrong and I think that’s offensive.”
The Governor says this will serve a long-neglected section of the state.
“The people of the Central Valley endure the worst air pollution in America and have some of the longest commutes in this state and they have suffered too many years of neglect from policy makers, respectfully, here in Sacramento. They deserve better.”
Completion of the Merced to Bakersfield segment would allow the state to hang on to $3.5 billion in federal transportation funds already earmarked for the project.
For those who want to walk away: Abandoning high speed rail means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it. I’m not interested in sending $3.5B in federal funding–exclusively allocated for HSR–back to the White House.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) February 12, 2019
By Jeff Whittle/Sandy Wells